Degenerative Disc Disease and Sciatica

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Catherine Burt Driver, MD
    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.

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Quick GuideSciatica Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Sciatica Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

What is the outlook (prognosis) of degenerative disc disease, radiculopathy, and sciatica?

The outlook of degenerative disc disease, radiculopathy, and sciatica depends on the severity of the condition, its precise cause, and the interventions used to treat the patient. When patients respond to conservative treatments, the result can be complete healing. Surgical repairs can require postoperative rehabilitation, including physical therapy.

Can degenerative disc disease, radiculopathy, and sciatica be prevented?

Avoiding injury can prevent these conditions. When the disease already exists, aggravation of existing symptoms can be avoided by limiting stressing or overusing the involved spine.

Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

REFERENCE:

Klippel, John H., et al., eds. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. 13th ed. New York: Springer and Arthritis Foundation, 2008.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/6/2015

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